Monday, 11 December, 2017

Senior Fatah official: Iran is top sponsor of Palestinian division

Palestinian students call for the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority in the southern Gaza Strip Internal differences within Fatah over reconciliation with Hamas
Lillian Steele | 29 November, 2017, 01:12

Hamas member Khalil al-Hayya told reporters on Monday that the organization's weapons arsenal is not up for debate and that Hamas intends to move it into the West Bank and continue its actions against Israel from there.

A senior Egyptian security delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday to observe the implementation of an internal Palestinian reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo in light of some difficulties cited by Fatah officials regarding the empowerment of the government in Gaza, the take over of security bodies and the disarming of Hamas militants. Fatah officials have demanded that the PA control all weapons in the Strip, while Hamas officials have stated that their armed wing, the Izzeldin Kassam Brigades, will not be disarmed.

The reconciliation agreement reached on October 12 said they would solve the issue of the employees by February 2018, but also said Hamas would hand over full control of Gaza by December 1. "It is our right to resist the occupation until it ends".

"The Palestinian government will not be able to operate and implement its projects and security plans in the Gaza Strip if it is without a security arm".

The two leading Palestinian factions sparred Tuesday over the fate of tens of thousands of employees in Gaza ahead of a key deadline, the latest sign that a landmark reconciliation accord was faltering.

Hamas and Fatah remain split on implementation of reconciliation agreement.

In April, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas adopted a number of punitive measures as a way of piling pressures on Hamas to relinquish its control of Gaza.

"The [PA] government until this moment, financially, administratively and security-wise, has not been set up [in Gaza] more than five percent", Palestinian Authority Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh said on Sunday. Hamas, which seeks the destruction of Israel, has fought three wars with Israel since seizing power from Fatah in the enclave in 2007.

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